New York Horse: Summer 2015

Page 1



Acupuncture An Ancient Cure for the Modern Horse

Joy Ride

CNY teen wins a national title (And her coach shares show tips)



Let an Olympic Judge Make You a Better Rider HAPPY TRAILS: DISCOVER BROOKFIELD’S BEAUTY




Canterbury Stables Building Better Riders Since 2002 Let Us Make Your Equestrian Dreams Possible 4786 Roberts Road, Cazenovia • 315-440-2244 •


Board in a modern 53-stall barn. Best-in-show care with daily turnouts in half-acre paddocks and night checks.



Kids are a specialty! Summer fun starts with pony camp. Stay for lessons with our welcoming staff and discover the joy of riding.

A premier riding experience for English and Dressage. Two indoor arenas, a new outdoor ring and three miles of scenic trails.





Off the Beaten Path

In southern Madison County lies a wooded gem: The Brookfield Trail System with its hidden lakes, pine thickets and 130 miles of groomed trails.





On Point

Champions of the Heart

Excellence in the Crosshairs

Winning Ways

Equine acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. Is this ancient Chinese treatment right for your modern-day horse?


A critically-ill teenager, Beezie and John Madden, and an unexpected friendship with a simple message about winning.

“Look over the horse’s ears like they’re the sight on a gun,” and other words to live by from Olympic Judge Gary Rockwell. Plus: A 60-second clinic with international equestrian coach Niall Quirk.

Stable Hopping visits Showme Haflingers and learns their secrets for bringing home three national titles in seven years.


The Guide 51 52

60-Second Clinic

The cowboy way to classical horsemanship Secrets Worth Stealing

Dressage + Jumping = Cross Training


Hall of Fame advice



Legendary reiner Mike Flarida on impressing the judge, looking down and babysitting your horse

End the frustration: Catch and halter a horse correctly


Departments 4 7 8 10 12

Editor’s Note


Leg Up

18 20


21 56

Thanks To Our Underwriters Leg Up

News, Notes and Conversation Starters Leg Up

Calendar Leg Up

Newsmaker catches up with a young champion

Insight: John Madden tells the FEI show jumping must change

Save money on sales tax around the barn Armchair Equestrian

World-class grooming for the curry comb challenged By the Numbers

Why build a new show venue at the Fair? Here’s one answer Parting Shot


Leg Up

EQStyle: In summer, it’s all about the hat

On the Cover

What is so rare as a day in June? A photograph that captures the joy of being alive and playing in the grass on new little hooves. The portrait of a happy foal by photographer Bob Gates perfectly frames that moment. Find more of Bob’s work, and his tips on taking your own equine images, in the Artful Horse, page 28. And go to to see galleries from across Bob’s photographic spectrum. NEW YORK HORSE 3


Summer’s Fleeting Song We’ve earned this one. For anyone who was fortunate enough to be elsewhere, Newsflash: This was the winter of everyone’s discontent. Pipes froze. Pipes burst. Snowbanks towered. Winds howled like wolves out of the north. Lessons were canceled because it was too cold to ride. Even heated barns were more like airplane hangars with horses. For the record, February was the coldest month (ever) and the second-snowiest month (ever). For the record, here in the buckle of the Snowbelt, that’s saying a lot. Those of us who are charter members of the 40-80 club – no riding unless the temperature is over 40 and under 80 – figured we’d never put a foot in a stirrup again. And then, even though it seemed not only possible but likely that this would be the year the doomsters were proven right and there would be no summer, the great grayness passed. Horses emerged blinking from barns and started shedding winter coats by the pound. Foals tried out unwieldy legs. Even the plumpest of geldings, who’d passed the winter eating hay and thinking deep thoughts, took a victory gallop around newly-green pastures. “Summer is a promissory note signed in June,” the nature writer Hal Borland once said, “its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” For now, let’s not worry about repaying the debt of long days and warm breezes. This is the season of pony camp and first blue ribbons and long afternoons on a long rein. Summertime. And the riding is easy.



Bob Gates

Summer’s Artful Horse photographer, Bob Gates, finds a story worth telling in a visual spectrum that stretches from the flight of a heron to the tail light of a vintage car. For the Spotlight, we asked Bob to tell us more about himself; how he became a photographer and where his work has taken him as an artist.


I first fell in love with photography when I took a course at the University of Iowa School of Art while completing my PhD in English. It was a secondary interest for many years, until the birth of my first granddaughter, and the serendipitous purchase of a digital camera in 2002, reunited that passion. Since then, my photographs have appeared in many group, individual, and juried exhibitions in Central New York and elsewhere. In 2014, my work was exhibited in “Six Social Photographers” at the Kirkland Art Center, “Made in New York” at the Schweinfurth Art Museum in Auburn, and “Forces for Change: Local Civil Rights Activists” at ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse. My work has also been published in many magazines, including Popular Photography, PhotoLife, The Photo Review, Photographers Forum, National Geographic Traveler, Plank Road, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, and Finger Lakes Magazine.

Jeanne Albanese The winter issue of New York Horse had an article on horses and girls’ self-esteem by a very gifted writer, Jeanne Albanese. That article is a finalist in the annual writing competition held by American Horse Publications, our national industry association. She returns in this issue with a feature piece on equine acupuncture.

Jeanne Albanese is a freelance writer and high school journalism teacher in Syracuse. She spent 13 years as a newspaper journalist, writing sports and features for The Post-Standard, where she won several state and national awards. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She lives in Syracuse with her three children and her husband. 6 NEW YORK HORSE

NEW YORK HORSE Editor & Publisher Janis Barth


New York Horse is published in part with underwriting support from: Canterbury Stables; Cazenovia College and the New York State Center for Equine Business Development; Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC; Morton Buildings; The Beattie Sanctuary; Madison County Tourism; Morrisville State College; New York Farm Bureau; New York State Fair; Central New York Reining Horse Association.


Art Director Darren Sanefski


Contributing Editor Renée K. Gadoua Jeanne Albanese Jessica Berman

Contributing Writers Anthony Ron Gannon Kantowski

Katie Navarra

Contributing Photographers Michael Bob Wells Davis Gates Horton

Gloria Wright


Advertising Director Peter K. Barth

New York Horse magazine is published quarterly by: Tremont8 Media LLC Box 556 Cazenovia NY 13035. All rights reserved. ISSN 2375-8058. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher. All material submitted to the magazine becomes the property of Tremont8 Media. Submitted material may be excerpted or edited for length and content and may be published or used in any format or medium, including online or in other print publications. To subscribe: Write to New York Horse, P.O. Box 556, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Subscriptions are $12/year. Please include your name and address and a check or money order for the full amount. For gift subscriptions, include the name and address of each recipient and we will send a card in your name.



Canterbury Stables W O R L D


Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC (BOSC) 333 West Washington St., Suite 220, Syracuse, NY 13202 Ph: 315.471.BOSC (2672) Fax: 315.471.PEAR (7327)

Promoting the sport of Reining through shows, clinics and educational seminars

C L A S S ,



4786 Roberts Road, Cazenovia • Phone: 315-440-2244 • Email:

Leg Up

N E W S , N O T E S A N D C O N V E R S AT I O N S TA R T E R S CNY college riders and horses tops at IHSA Last year’s SmartPak Most Popular Hunt Seat Horse, Cazenovia College’s bay warmblood gelding and “great draw,” Chop Chop, returned to be named this year’s Triple Crown High Point Hunt Seat Horse. The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Award winner was another Cazenovia horse, the bay gelding Sport. Triple Crown High Point Western Horse and SmartPak Most Popular Western Horse was Oswego’s “packaged at the lope” stallion, Colonel Pepenator, aka ‘Peppy.’ The NRHA Horse of Show was George, Morrisville State College’s “easy lead changer” chestnut gelding.

Cornell ranked No. 2 vet school The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has been ranked the No.2 veterinary school in the nation by US News & World Report. Cornell’s facilities on the Ithaca campus include its Equine Hospital which, together with the Farm Animal Hospital, takes in about 3,000 patients annually. Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, located opposite the backstretch of historic Belmont Park, extends the reach of the hospital. The University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine topped the 2015 rankings by the magazine. Colorado State University rounded out the Top 3.

New Equine Education Network launched with Caz connection Equine programs, degrees and options are as diverse as breeds of horses. Finding the “right” college and equine program for each student is the idea behind the EQUUS Foundation’s Equine Education Network. The EEN is a free online resource in partnership with The Right Program for U, a Cazenoviabased educational consulting firm that assists students in matching their equestrian interests with college options and degree offerings. The EEN identifies the equine-related program(s) at each institution and provides a direct link to the program if available. Check out the network at


There were ribbons for both human and equine athletes at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s national finals. Danielle Grasmeder of SUNY Oswego (pictured at right) was the National Reining Horse Association Open Reining champion. Keeping it in the family, she drew a SUNY Oswego stallion, Colonel Pepenator for her winning ride. Shana Coffey of Cornell University took the blue in Novice Equitation over Fences, besting a field of 16 riders. Also recognized for their role were the horses, and those sent by CNY colleges took most of the top honors.


Local tracks donate to Sunshine Horses Vernon and Tioga Downs harness racing tracks have donated $10,000 to Sunshine Horses, a charity that helps horses find homes and second careers when their racing days are over. The donation from the Standardbred tracks will go in many directions, said Kate Starr, president of Sunshine Horses. “This past winter has taken its toll on our fences and on our hay reserves,” Starr said. “We also need a small tractor and rake to keep our arena in shape for retraining, which has continued all winter.” Sunshine Horses, based in Central Square, is the largest non-profit in New York dedicated to post-racetrack careers. More than 30 horses are currently under their umbrella. Interested in learning more? Sunshine Horses’ spring open house is noon-4 p.m. June 13 at Little Apple Stables Central Square, or online at

New York Horse honored by Press Club New York Horse received an award for excellence from the Syracuse Press Club for our winter issue. It was only our second issue, and we are honored. Thanks to art director Darren Sanefski, contributing editor Renee Gadoua and to all of the great writers and photographers who work hard to make every issue one that you will enjoy reading.

New partner joins Pure Country Campground Dr. Michael Braun is a new partner and owner, with Jim Weidman, of Pure Country Campground in New Berlin. The campground offers trail riding, an outdoor arena, a 5 acre on-site obstacle course, and 28 covered portable horse stalls, along with a full summer calendar of clinics and events. Programs already scheduled include barrel racing and beginning roping clinics and cowboy obstacle races. A full calendar is available online at


Syracuse International Horse Show, American Saddlebred Horse Association of New York, NYS Fairgrounds Toyota Coliseum. More information:

Beginner Roping Clinic, Pure Country Campground, 176 Kelly Road, New Berlin. More information: or 607-373-0957.

J U L Y 3-5 12

Northeastern Welsh Pony Association Horse Show, 4-H Rings and Stables, NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse. More information: or 516-768-5444.

Madison County Fair Open English/Western Show, approved by the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program and PtHA for Open Competition Activities Program. Youth show on July 10. More information: Crystal Cowen,, 315-889-7743.


Rodeo, Diamond T Ranch, 12929 South Butler Road, Savannah. Also, August 15 and Sept. 12; finals Oct. 3. Barrel races the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month through September. More information: Joe and Tonja Ticconi, 315-730-1156 or 315-730-0987.


Dressage clinic with Andreas Hausberger, chief rider of the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Waltzing Horse Dressage at Voltra Farm, Verona. More information:


Onondaga County Youth Horse Show, Youth Arena, NYS Fairgrounds. More information: or 315-424-9485 x241.


Hunter Pace to benefit the Tioughnioga Ruritan at Staley Farm, DeRuyter. Trails, jumps optional. Ride English or Western. More information:, or 315-480-0383.


Wheat Harvest as it was done in the late 1800s, New York State Draft Horse Club with the King Ferry Historical Society. Free horse-drawn wagon rides. More information:


Classic Horse Show series Coliseum Classic. Hunter/Jumper classes. More information, and dates for other shows in the series at farms around CNY:


Summer Slidin’ By, Central New York Reining Horse Association, Morrisville. More information:


Lorenzo Driving Competition combines sport and pleasure


his summer, the Lorenzo Driving Competition celebrates its 39th year as one of the premier pleasure-driving competitions in the Northeast. The competition, July 18-19, is set on the jewel box grounds of the Lorenzo State Historic site overlooking Cazenovia Lake. It’s a weekend like no other in the Central New York equine calendar, a chance to be transported to a time when road trip meant four legs and a whip, instead of four wheels and a gas pedal. Competitor? Spectator? Either way, here are the Top 5 reasons to circle the date:




4. 5.

Polished pleasure-driving teams will show off the unique combination of skill, attire and showmanship that defines the sport. Competition will take place in two rings set against the backdrop of the Lorenzo mansion. The signature Pleasure Drive and this year’s new Poker Run takes teams off-roading. There is no charge for parking or to watch the competition. Family-friendly activities, educational clinics, demonstrations, and a marketplace brimming with artwork, horse wares and equestrian style make it a weekend for everyone. A full schedule of events is available on the LDC website,

The Lorenzo $5 refillable all-youcan-drink beer and wine glasses remain the best value in (horse) show business. Look for their return at Friday’s opening gala and postcompetition Saturday along with a catered meal on the lawn under the big top. Watching the sun set on Cazenovia Lake while channeling the ghosts of Lincklaens and Rockefellers? Priceless. The Carriage Dog Class: Dogs in hats. ‘Nuff said. The click of hooves, the clatter of wheels and being part of something that began when the Olympics came to Montreal, “Frampton Comes Alive!” topped the charts, and a gallon of regular gas cost 59 cents.


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SECRETS WORTH STEALING Here is Emerald City Coach Sara Paddock’s advice on how to prepare for the show ring: “Come to the show ring looking your best. Make sure your clothes are properly fitted, your boots are clean, your hair is tucked under your helmet neatly and you have your gloves. This is your first impression to the judge and it shows that you care. “Have presence when you enter the ring and use the ring to your advantage. Act like you are being judged from the moment you enter the ring. Most importantly, have fun and learn something from each horse you ride.”



race Hoey began riding when she was 8 years old, another barn kid at Affinity Farm in Skaneateles. Seven years later, the hours of tacking, grooming and practicing led to the ride of her young life at the International Equestrian Association national finals. Before the finals, Grace said her goal was to do the best she could. When the numbers were called, her best was unmatched. The ninthgrader at Marcellus Central School brought home a national championship, winning the Junior Varsity Beginner Flat class. Some perspective on that win: Grace is in her second year competing for the Emerald City Equestrian Team. The 400 finalists were the top riders from 1,220 IEA teams and nearly 11,500 middle and high school equestrians who competed in regular season shows and regional and zone finals. “With Grace we were really working on her presence in the show ring,” said Kim Allan, one of Emerald City’s three coaches. “She has very correct equitation but really needed to learn how to exude confidence. She worked hard and nailed it!” Emerald City, founded in 2010, is based out of both Affinity and Cazenovia Equestrian Center. The IEA format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts, drawing their horses the day of competition and entering the arena after a brief, if any, warm-up. Allan, who owns Affinity, said she believes that having two barns – filled with horses to practice on – benefits riders by building their confidence to show a horse they have never ridden. Having three coaches, Sara Paddock added, “gives the riders different and fresh critiques of each ride. Many times when you watch a rider over and over you can miss things. This happens much less with the three of us.” Coaches Paddock, Allan and Megan Maloney said Emerald City riders come from Cayuga, Madison and Onondaga counties. They open the team to the public and all area barns, giving a rider whose home stable doesn’t do IEA a chance to compete. Team tryouts for the 2015-16 season will be 6 p.m. July 27 at Affinity Farm; prior show experience is not a requirement. “Riders don’t need to train with us as their home base,” Paddock said. “We promote good horsemanship and being a team.” Founded in 2002, the IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to students, ages 11-19, across the United States. Unique to the IEA, there is no need to own a horse. For information, go to the IEA website:

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Hats Off to




f there’s a style statement to set the summer equestrian scene apart from any other time of year, it’s the donning of a proper chapeau – proper being a euphemism for something that would be perfectly at home on the Queen of England’s head. Whether it’s Cazenovia’s annual Lorenzo Driving Competition, the Skaneateles Polo Grounds or the backstretch at Saratoga, elegant, fancy and occasionally outrageous hats are the signature seasonal punctuation mark. But how to choose from a universe of beribboned, beflowered and befeathered creations? “Picking the perfect hat starts with your face shape,” says Sherri Lower, designer and owner of Hats Off Boutique of Williston, Florida. “Do you have a heart, long, oval, round or square face? Your hat should be an elegant accent to your face and body shape. 14 NEW YORK HORSE

“The hat brim should not be wider than your shoulders,” adds Lower, whose custom-designed creations, shown here, will be available July 18-19 at the marketplace at Lorenzo. “If you are a shorter woman then maybe a hat with a taller crown will give you a little height. If you have broad shoulders then you can ‘carry’ a wider brimmed hat.” Think you can’t wear a hat? Try a fascinator – a decorative headpiece attached to a comb or hair clip. They’re trending, thanks to those stylish British royals and Lower says they’re available in an array of styles and colors, with aqua, periwinkle and shades of greens especially popular. Otherwise, for spectators, price and personal style are the only limits. If you can’t afford a custom design, poke through area antique shops and consignment stores for vintage hats. Or pick up a glue gun and be limited only

by imagination: A recent winner in the annual Saratoga hat contest had a real working fountain in the crown. (The water supply was hidden in the wearer’s purse.) For competitors in pleasure driving, hats are more than an accessory, they’re an essential part of the event. Fashionable but not outrageous is the ideal, says Carol Buckhout, a champion driver and president of the Lorenzo board of directors. “For me, the hat has to have style and pizzazz. It has to be tasteful and appropriate for the overall look that I am attempting to achieve,” Buckhout says. “If it’s gaudy and over the top, it will ruin the effect that I am attempting to obtain and it certainly will not help me attract the judge’s attention in a positive way,” she says. “The brim can’t be too big or too small; the color has to complement my ensemble and ideally, I want someone not only to notice it, but to comment about it to me. As we say in the carriage driving world: ‘It’s all about the hat!’“

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Led by John Madden, FEI examines jumping’s Olympic future “IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.”


components of what we must achieve are universality and excellence.” Proposed changes include: decreasing the number of competitors from four to three on each team, removal of the drop score, a heat system – eliminating 50 of the 75 riders from the medal round – and holding the individual competition before the team event. The format of three athletes per team with


how jumping has “no choice but to change,” if it is to survive and thrive at the international level. That was the message from John Madden of Cazenovia, Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee, who called the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations “a wakeup call for equestrian sport.” Jumping, eventing and dressage look secure for the next Olympics, but unless they are dramatically repackaged, the longerterm future isn’t necessarily secure. TV figures are key, and there is a need to attract an energetic young audience on a far bigger scale. Everything needs to be shorter, sharper, more exciting and more engaging. “It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Our sports have special status because they’re included in the Olympic movement and we must never lose sight of that,” said Madden at the recent FEI Sports Forum. “The two key

no drop score was proposed in part to make the sport more exciting and easier for the media and public to follow. “People ask, well what about the drama? With three riders per team there will be plenty,” Madden said in a statement on the proposed changes. “It’s not just about us, it’s about the Olympic fans, the media and sponsors. “For a long time we’ve been a little too concerned about the past and the way we’ve always done things. If the USA goes out because the first rider falls off at the first fence, then so be it. In American sport, fans love the underdog with a chance. The best can make mistakes, and the underdogs can take advantage if they are in the right place at the right time. I think the teams-of-three concept will get people really excited.”

John Madden addresses the FEI on the future of Olympic show jumping.











W .

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Check our website for information on upcoming clinics and shows at CEC! or find us on Facebook today! 3676 Erieville Road, Erieville New York • 315-655-0388 • Diane Brandow (Dressage) • Meg Maloney (Hunt Seat) HORSE 16 NEW YORK


Does your equine business pay too much sales tax?


armers and commercial horse boarding operators can buy many items and services without paying state and local sales or use taxes. What’s in and what’s out? A new bulletin from the state Department of Taxation and Finance identifies what purchases are tax exempt and what purchases are eligible for a refund or tax credit. The bulletin also explains what documents or other information is needed to make a tax-free purchase or apply for a refund or credit. The state has a very specific definition of a commercial horse boarding operation. According to the tax department, your business qualifies if it: operates on at least seven acres; boards at least 10 horses (regardless of ownership); and receives $10,000 or more in gross receipts annually from fees generated from the boarding of horses; the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products; or both. The state makes one exception: A commercial horse boarding operation does not include any operation where the primary on-site function is horse racing.

Here’s a quick rundown of what gets a tax break: Machinery, equipment and other supplies are exempt from sales tax if it’s used more than 50% of the time in farming or as part of horse boarding operations. The list of taxexempt items is long, but for equine businesses includes tack, bedding, feed, grain bins, manure spreaders and tractors. Computers are tax exempt if they’re used predominantly for the business, and the state counts time spent searching the web on ag research. Vehicles and trailers are also tax-exempt if they’re used predominantly for business, and usage can be measured either by miles traveled or hours of use. So are building materials that are used to construct, expand or repair fences, barns or other farm buildings on the property. Finally, and this is one many people don’t know about, some services – including construction and maintenance – are exempt from sales and use taxes. For example, if a stable owner hires a contractor to repair the roof on a barn housing horses, the cost of the repair service is tax exempt. All of the information, including downloadable copies of the forms needed to avoid paying sales tax, is available online at: tg_bulletins/st/farmers_commercial_ horse_boarders.htm.


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One stop to top turnout, from daily care to button braids “WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES” IS AN ENGLISH RIDER’S HOW-TO GUIDE


chieving a superior look is not just about clean tack, spotless stockings, or the perfect braids on show day. It starts with the day-to-day, nittygritty of grooming and caring for the horse: noticing something not-quiteright about the way he looks or moves before it becomes something wrong. It’s about brushing and combing and trimming a little every day so the horse’s skin and coat remain healthy and he always has a neat appearance. And it’s knowing how to prepare a horse properly for training sessions on the flat or over fences; protecting him from


harm, whether at work or play; and treating his injuries when necessary. No one knows how to do all of this better than those working as professional grooms. In “World Class Grooming for Horses: The English Rider’s Complete Guide to Daily Care and Competition,” ($39.95, 248

pages, spiral bound, Trafalgar Square Books, www.horseandriderbooks. com) top grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford share their trade secrets. With the help of 1,276 color photographs, they demonstrate how to clean the horse from nose to tail; wrap, clip, braid, and ship him; prepare him for competition; and care for him after work or showing so he is rested and ready to do it all again. This book is a guide for all riders who want their horses to look and feel their best.

FROM THE BOOK: TRY THIS First thing in the morning, use your hands to check your horse’s legs in the stall. There is no replacement for your hands; just looking doesn’t catch what might be brewing under the hair. Investigate anything out of the horse’s ‘usual.’ Check legs for heat, swelling and skin abnormalities. Check pasterns for the beginning of “scratches.” Don’t forget he has hind legs, too!


Dollars and horse sense



new horse show venue, with stabling for up to 1,000 horses, is a major part of the proposed $50 million makeover of the NYS Fair. Why spend taxpayer money on horse shows? It’s all in the numbers – past, present and projected. Here’s a closer look: Annual economic impact of the New York equine industry, including roughly 33,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

$4.2 Billion: $251 Million: $208.5 million:

Economic impact of the Kentucky Horse Park in annual tax revenue.

Total indirect spending generated by horse shows and other equine competitions in New York. Major indirect benefits are in the entertainment sector.

$127 million:

Direct economic impact of horse shows/competition annually in New York. Amount includes spending by show organizers in the form of prizes, facility preparation and labor, and by show participants as they travel around the state.



The small package good things come in

$34 million: $8.6 million:

Estimated annual economic impact of 3-month HITS horse show series to the Saugerties area. The local spending generated annually by the five-day Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament, which ended an 8-year run in 2010.

157,500: 40,800: 3,000:

Total number of horses across New York’s 62 counties.

Total participants in horse shows annually in New York. Roughly 50% of recreational horse owners participate in shows/competitions. Total number of horses that compete over the 12 days of the state Fair shows. A standard multiplier estimates 3-4 people accompany each horse, spending approximately $150 a day.

Sources: New York State Equine Industry Economic Impact Study (2012);; John Madden, John Madden Sales., NYS Fair




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• Oct. 22-25, CNYRHA brings the North American Affiliate Regional Championship to the Coliseum as part of the annual Fall Classic show. • Stunning stops and fast spins come to the NYS Fairgrounds as 400 top reiners from the Northeast and Canada compete for a spot in the national championships. • The Northeast Breeders Trust Futurity will have over $23,000 added prize money. (This is a closed futurity for 3-year-old horses whose sires were in the NEBT Stallion Auction this year and runs concurrent with the CNYRHA Futurity.) The Futurity runs Saturday night, Oct. 24, with a Calcutta and an exhibitors’ party by Limp Lizard BBQ. • The TV program “Inside Reining” will be there to shoot footage. • Check out the CNYRHA Facebook page or for more information and plan to be at the Fairgrounds in October!

GENE & MARY SMITH Cazenovia, NY • 315-655-9748 Email: Check us out on Facebook and NEW YORK HORSE 21

Needles & Pins AN ANCIENT



Dr. Jean-Yin Tan inserts a fine needle into an acupuncture point to treat heaves, a lung disease.

asper, a 1,200-pound gelding, stands calmly while Dr. Jean-Yin Tan runs a traditional Chinese diagnostic on him. First, she checks his tongue for color and size, looking for signs of blood stagnation, which can indicate pain. His tongue looks a bit swollen but has good color. Next, she checks his temperature in his ear and on his back (both normal) and then she checks his pulses on his neck, finding them even and strong. Then it is time for her acupuncture scan. Using the plastic sheath that holds an acupuncture needle, Dr. Tan


runs the tiny point along the meridians that run throughout Jasper’s body. These meridians, according to ancient Chinese medicine, are pathways for the flow of energy, or Qi, and the practice of acupuncture helps regulate that flow. Jasper does not react while Dr. Tan gently grazes most of the major acupuncture points on his body. But when she touches the lung point on his left side, located on the bladder meridian that runs down his back, his entire flank twitches. The same reaction occurs on the right. For Dr. Tan, who incorporates both Western and Eastern medicine into her practice at Syracuse Equine Veterinary Specialists in Manlius, that flank twitch supports her Western diagnosis of Jasper: He suffers from heaves, or Recurrent Airway Obstruction, similar to human asthma and the most common lung disease seen in horses. Acupuncture is a medical technique that originated thousands of years ago in China, whereby fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points to relieve pain and cure disease. Although it has been practiced on animals for much of that time, in the West it is only recently that a growing body of scientific evidence has spurred an increase in the practice of, and demand for, veterinary acupuncture. Dr. Tan focuses on those scientific aspects of acupuncture with her clients and describes her approach – taking the best of both Western and Eastern practices – as complementary medicine, Scientifically speaking, acupuncture

helps foster the connection and interaction between the various systems in the body – the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system – and helps them work together for the body to heal itself. It works for Jasper, whose heaves have been kept under control with a mix of Western medicine (an inhaler) and acupuncture, which helps relieve symptoms and keep his lung tissue healthy. Owner Pam Fuller sees a difference in her horse, and her goal with Chinese therapy is to reduce the amount of medicine Jasper needs. “Jasper just loves this treatment,” says Fuller, of Hamilton. “You can tell. I think the body has a tremendous power to heal itself and anything you can do to facilitate that and make it stronger, I think, really triggers some self-healing.” Tan says more and more, horse owners are turning to non-invasive, drug-free forms of treatment and that’s where acupuncture, and other forms of Chinese medicine such as herbal treatments, comes in. “There is a big drive, I think, among horse owners for things that are natural, things that are harmless but can benefit their horse,” Dr. Tan says. “There is a preference for not using drugs. In competition and racing, that is even more important because there are strict drug regulations.” Veterinarians are required to undergo specific training to perform acupuncture and according to the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, there are three major schools that provide this training. The Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in Florida is one of them, and where Dr. Tan received her training. According to school founder Dr. Huisheng Xie, enrollment at the school has exploded, from 13 students in 1998 when the program started to almost 300 graduating in 2014. Dr. Xie also points to the scientific studies and says that the

U.S. National Library of Medicine for the National Institutes of Health has more than 20,000 articles regarding acupuncture and more than 300 articles specifically devoted to animals. He adds that more than 50 percent of American Veterinary Medicine Academy-accredited schools have veterinarians certified or with an interest in acupuncture as faculty members, or offer acupuncture to their patients through referral. Acupuncture has been found to successfully treat hives, heaves, diarrhea, skin problems, laminitis, back pain, shoulder pain and tendon or ligament problems, hip pain, heel and hoof pain, infertility, sciatic and femoral nerve paralysis among other conditions. “The clinical results have inspired more veterinarians to learn TCVM, including acupuncture,” Dr. Xie says. “As DVM students receive more education in school,

Dr. Jean-Yin Tan applies electrical impulses to Jasper, held by office manager Jamie Epstein, as part of an acupuncture treatment. NEW YORK HORSE 25

Clifford is being treated with acupuncture for stomach and back problems.

they will see more benefits of acupuncture and most likely are open to learn and practice acupuncture.” Dr. Sara Robinson, of Bright Sky Veterinary Acupuncture in Ithaca, added equine acupuncture to her practice this spring, after completing 100 hours of horse-specific training at the Chi Institute. She counts several of Ithaca College’s equine


athletes among her patients, and sees Chinese medicine as a way of broadening and deepening what she can offer. “The acupuncture reminds the body to heal itself,” Dr. Robinson says. “We decrease pain by stimulating endorphin release and that provides pain relief. We stimulate the release of cortisol, which gives an anti-inflammatory effect and the third thing is that we stimulate blood flow, which promotes healing and relieves pain. Those things, I think, are very key. What is so exciting is the body contains these neurotransmitters and hormones to heal itself, and that’s thrilling to me.” Acupuncture on large animals like horses isn’t without risk to the veterinarian. Horses who are needle shy or do not have a calm demeanor aren’t good candidates, and there are certain points Dr. Tan avoids on some horses for fear of getting kicked. She tells clients to expect a change in their horse’s condition with three to five treatments. Acupuncture can also be used as a preventative measure. AQHA Professional Horseman Adam D’Agostino, who once

used acupuncture treatments himself on a knee injury, is a strong proponent of the practice. He uses acupuncture to treat several of his clients’ horses. “I am always looking for an alternative, non-invasive therapy,” says D’Agostino, who owns Empire Performance Horses in Tully. “I do a lot of stuff preventatively. I use it even on healthy horses if they are receptive to it.” That’s a key difference in the Western and Eastern approaches, Dr. Tan says. With Western medicine, you wait until symptoms manifest themselves, and then treat those signs with medicine, radiation or surgery. With holistic medicine, or Eastern medicine, you look at the animal as a whole, including their environment and work load, and consider all those factors. This approach offers the possibility of catching a problem before it progresses too far. “I think generally where people want acupuncture is when they feel like they are at a dead end with Western medicine, which is actually a fair number of times,” Dr. Tan says. “They realize there is not much I can do short of something drastic like surgery. That’s where a lot of people can become really accepting of it.” Clifford is one of the horses D’Agostino trains. He is triple registered as an American Quarter Horse, an American Paint Horse and a Pinto, and competes in English all-around

Owner Pam Fuller says her goal with acupuncture is to reduce the medicine Jasper needs.

at breed shows. D’Agostino says when he first started working with Clifford, the horse was light and his hair coat was poor, and acupuncture helped pinpoint back and stomach issues. D’Agostino notices a big improvement in Clifford, and he attributes that, in part, to acupuncture. “It really did turn him around quite a bit,” D’Agostino says. “His back is dramatically less sore and he just seems to relax all over.”

GOOD TO KNOW Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into body tissue where there is an increased density of nerve endings and small blood and lymphatic vessels. These collections of nervous and vascular tissue are termed acupuncture points, which are located over all aspects of the body’s surface on meridians (energy channels). The meridians permit a cycle of energy to occur throughout the entire body over the 24-hour course of a day. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) says acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. Acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, and the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormones. There are several different used on animals:

Dry Needling is the use of the typical acupuncture needle, which consists of a solid shaft with a handle. Needles vary in length (0.5 to 6 inches) and diameter (0.25 mm to 0.75 mm). The smaller needles are used in the lower limbs, feet, head and ear, while the larger needles are more commonly used in the neck, back and upper limbs. Aquapuncture is the injection of a fluid into the acupuncture point. The liquid continues to stimulate/treat the point with pressure. The most commonly used fluid is Vitamin B 12. Electroacupuncture involves attaching electrodes to the acupuncture needles and applying a pulsating electrical current. Stimulation can be achieved by varying the frequency, intensity and type of electronic pulse used on the acupuncture points. Due

to their size and thick skin, Dr. Tan prefers electroacupuncture for horses and finds it more effective to stimulate the acupuncture points, which are a bit deeper than on humans. Moxibustion involves the burning of mugwort – an herb – either on an acupuncture point (direct moxibustion) or over the skin at an acupuncture point (indirect moxibustion) in order to stimulate that point. In horses, the most commonly used technique is indirect moxibustion, done by holding a burning moxa stick ½ to 1 inch above the acupuncture point or by attaching moxa (prepared from ground mugwort leaves) to an acupuncture needle allowing the heat to be transferred down the needle into the acupuncture point. It is mostly used to treat chronic muscular and arthritic pain. Sources: American Association of Equine Practitioners, PetMd. Com, Dr. Jean-Yin Tan NEW YORK HORSE 27

Artful orse H The




NYH: Help our readers to take great equine photos. What are the top tips and best advice you can share with amateur photographers who want to capture special moments with their horse? BG: My top tip when teaching photography workshops is, “Get close and fill the frame.” Our eyes tend to filter out extraneous elements because we are looking at the subject, but when later we see the photograph they are very distracting. So pay close attention to what is in your frame besides the subject. Look at all the edges and try to “see” the image you are framing as if it were already hanging on the wall in a museum. The other tips for photographing horses are the same as for photographing active children: use a fast shutter speed to stop the action, and frame the image so that your subject has plenty of space in front and doesn’t look like it is bumping into the frame. NYH: Follow up question. Your photos that are frozen moments – like the cover shot of the happy foal – are there and gone in an instant. Help us to see a moment and then frame it the way you do. BG: This is a good question because it recognizes that the most important ability in photography is the ability to see, to visualize the finished image. To see the world differently and photograph it with originality, you have to have an active and lively imagination. NYH: Where do you draw your inspiration? BG: To be a good photographer requires

the same thing that produces good work in any artistic field: boundless curiosity and enthusiasm. Oh, and don’t take photos that everyone else takes. NYH: What’s in your camera bag? BG: I shot with a full Canon DSLR rig for

many years, but recently replaced it with a much lighter setup, what is called a mirrorless interchangeable lens system, in my case a Fuji X-t1 and a number of lenses. I have three zoom lenses and three prime lenses. I can’t emphasize enough the value of prime lenses with a very large maximum aperture for creating a shallow depth of field. “Dark Horse,” (the opening photo) was shot at f/2.0, “Western Horse” at f/1.8, and “Carriage Horse” at f/1.2. Notice in that shot how the horse is in focus and the driver out of focus. NYH: Final thoughts? BG: Shoot what you love. NEW YORK HORSE 31



Beezie Madden and Simon compete in the first round of the FEI World Cup in Las Vegas.




n the first night of competition, Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden, a twotime Olympic gold medalist, and her horse Simon knocked down the last rail in their FEI World Cup run. Had they not knocked down this last rail, John Madden, Beezie’s husband and a fine horseman himself, said his wife would have finished the round in fourth or fifth place. Beezie could have won her second World Cup from fourth or fifth after the opening round, her husband said. Now they would have to claw their way back into contention against the world’s best show horses and riders from 15th place, a long way back. But then, John Madden said, sometimes perspective and a broader frame of context is called for. The reason we were chatting was a 17-year-old girl from Las Vegas named Katlyn Oaks. The Maddens, who live in Cazenovia, had met Katlyn when she was 9, through Make-AWish America. Which is never the way you want to meet a 9-year-old. So, John Madden was saying, his wife was going to have to claw her way back. Then we started talking again about Katlyn Oaks, who wanted so badly to attend the World Cup. Instead, she was back in the hospital with lots of tubes sticking out of her. So there’s the broader frame of context. Katlyn Oaks was born with a genetic disorder called mitochondrial disease, which saps body cells of energy. It is incurable. Some people may have a mild form of this malady and learn to live with it. Katlyn’s is not.

This is how her mom, Ruth, put it on Facebook when Katlyn went into crisis and checked back into the hospital:

Unfortunately her disease has made it very difficult for her to do many things that the average teen is able to do. Since her disease progression, she can no longer shower on her own or stand without assistance — walking even with the aid of a walker has become increasingly difficult for her, because of tremors in her hands, feet and legs. She has permanent nystagmus (her eyes move up and down on their own) which causes her to be disoriented much of the time, and at times she experiences periods of confusion and mental slowness. She will never drive a car, graduate high school or go to college — those are major things that have been taken from her ...” For the past six years, Katlyn Oaks has eaten every meal through a tube. This is why John Madden said that perspective sometimes is called for. “Beezie and I don’t have kids,” he said. “We just jump over sticks.” A couple of minutes later when I was chatting with Beezie, this is what she said: “Exactly. It reminds me that what we do isn’t that important.” But this is where Ruth Oaks might disagree. Her daughter has always loved horses; she even learned to ride her pony, Jack, with

tubes protruding from a special vest the Maddens helped arrange for her. The Maddens and the Oaks — Katlyn’s dad, James, is a Metro Police sergeant — met at the Budweiser Invitational in Tampa, Fla., in 2007. Ruth Oaks said she didn’t know how much time Katlyn and Beezie would spend together after her daughter had Made-A-Wish. Would it be 10 seconds? Ten minutes? It would be eight years. So far. Beezie gave Katlyn a ribbon on the night they met. She said if she won, Katlyn could trade that ribbon in for the blue one the next night. Katlyn got the blue ribbon. Beezie saw to that. Their relationship has continued mostly through texts and social media, but sometimes with face-to-face meetings, such as last year at one of the big jumping competitions in Los Angeles, when Katlyn was feeling much better. “To have it turn into something so amazing ...” Ruth Oaks was saying now. She did not complete the sentence. When you watch your only child go through what Katlyn has, one tends not to finish sentences. Katlyn Oaks doesn’t ride her pony anymore. She doesn’t have the energy. Jack the pony was sold, and that was a sad day. Another sad day. As for Beezie Madden, she did claw her way back into contention after she and Simon knocked down that 15th fence on the first night. They did not win, however. Maybe that was just too much to ask. They finished fourth. First place went to 2012 Olympic gold medalist Steve Guerdat of Switzerland and a 12-year-old mare named Albfuehren’s Paille. Guerdat tucked his helmet under his arm before raising his fists skyward. He mouthed the words to the Swiss national anthem. Steffi Graf gave him a real nice watch. He lapped the arena and waved to spectators — it’s a big deal to be crowned 37th World Cup champion. That was one way to look at it. Another way to look at it was that Guerdat and his horse were just jumping over sticks. Ron Kantowski is a sports columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which shared this piece with New York Horse. NEW YORK HORSE 35

s t e r n c a e S om pic fr lymge’s d O Jud car e r o c S


9 a.m.

The first clinic ride of the day. At the far end of the arena, Gary Rockwell takes in every stride, every communication between horse and rider. His is an educated and practiced eye. As a member of the U.S. Equestrian Team, he brought home a bronze at the 1994 World Championships. As a judge, he has officiated at four World Cup finals and the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He knows what perfection looks like in dressage and he knows it to be the rarest of breeds. “One of the moments I’ve never given a 10 for is the transition from walk to canter,” he says early in his three days of clinics at Canterbury Stables in Cazenovia, adding both reason and lesson: “I don’t think it’s schooled enough. It either succeeds or fails in one step. You’re either rocked back and cantering or



Quick Takes “Rewards are only effective if they’re immediate.” Posting should not look like “a calisthenics exercise. It should be in the middle, it should just clear the saddle. It should be a metronome movement.” “You have to be clear with your aids. If your leg comes off, it’s every man for himself.” “The horses tell you what they need. You have to listen and respond.”

like a football or, worse yet, contain 90-degree angles. With others, he’ll take the sting off a correction with humor. “Half pass to ‘I,’ ” he tells one rider. “I’m at ‘I.’ Don’t worry about running me over. They’ve been trying to kill me for years. I’m much too fast.” With Polka and Dougherty, the head trainer at Canterbury, the focus this session is on fine-tuning; they are only weeks away from attaining a USDF silver medal. When Dougherty looks down, it’s a teaching moment for Rockwell. “If your eyes are down, then some part of your upper body is going to be one degree in front of the vertical, which is just enough to lose some of the seat,” he says. “The loss from absolutely centered to one degree forward is huge. If you have a horse that gets strong … that one degree means he can take you right out of the saddle because you’re already just a tiny bit off balance.” On this Olympic judge’s scorecard, eyes ahead and forward is essential, a point he makes often as he shares advice to make anyone, whatever their discipline, a better rider: “Look over the horse’s ears like they’re the sight on a gun, so the both of you are looking where you’re going,” he tells one rider. “Your eye is very important in riding because you see the road before you’re on it ... You have to see the road and guide him on it. Everything gets better when you look ahead.” To another: “You have to look at the road before you can ride on it.”


“Your eye is very important in riding,” says Olympic Judge Gary Rockwell, here working with rider Kimberley Dougherty and Polka.

you’re not. If you’re not, it’s already failed. You might as well walk and try again. “…. A little squeeze from your calf and the horse should be ready to fly under you. Spurs, a kick, should be used only as back-up aids.” As Polka warms up, Rockwell is a constant voice, guiding rider Kimberley Dougherty and the dappled PRE gelding through their paces. “OK, hands forward and a rising trot. Maybe just shorten your reins another inch. That looks good. Good. Super. A little more trot. Now a 20 meter circle at C. Bend. Bend. Good.” Encouraging, praising, critiquing, Rockwell aims to improve the performance of every rider, regardless of their level. With some it starts with simple geometry: Their circles look more

10 a.m.

Different horse, different rider, different objectives. Rockwell starts with a quick lesson about the value of the warmup. Don’t just trot around aimlessly, he says, don’t waste the opportunity to set the standard for performance with the first hoofbeat. “It’s really important that you think about the warmup. What do I want? What are my expectations? Where is he supposed to start out today?” Rockwell teaches. “You have to think it in your mind so that you can effect it in the ring…. You can’t be thinking about putting him on the bit in the middle of a movement, in the middle of a half pass. It has to happen in the warmup.” As the pair move through circles and serpentines, Rockwell focuses on the art of riding the corner. It’s geometry, he says, and a secret weapon the best riders use to their advantage. “A corner is one-quarter of a circle. You have to ride it that way … Remember, every time you go around (the arena) you have four corners where you bend and straighten, bend and straighten. And that continues through Grand Prix. “Don’t think the top riders in the world don’t use every inch of every corner. That’s where they go back and retrieve the suppleness, that’s where they go back and retrieve the collection. All the corners of the arena are super, super important. Where does it start?

Where does it end? Is he softening on my right rein? Is he on the bit?” Good, he says when the pair nails it. But then “No, no, no!” when a transition to canter falls apart. “Why seven trot steps? The first step should have been corrected. It’s too late to make a correction after seven steps.” It’s a learning process to make a correction, Rockwell explains. “It’s important that he spends more time in the correct position, but even the best horses in the world take a step out of line. You just have to react immediately. Little corrections are easier. Little corrections – and more of them – get less resistance and are less visible.” And: “You have to have a plan for your corrections so

(the horse) stays on the aids. If you don’t have a plan for corrections at home, you’re going to be lost in the arena … A lot of people punish a horse at home when they make a mistake. Then, when they get in the arena and they make a mistake, they get nervous because they think they’re going to be punished. If they do something wrong, make the correction and keep going.”


It’s been three days and dozens of rides; some good, some better, some occasionally baffling. It’s time for reflection and summing up. He may be tough on the riders, but Rockwell believes that — in the pursuit of excellence — they ought to be tougher still on themselves. In their own ring. When no one else is watching. “You have to have this self-critique at home,” he says. “You have to make it correct. Really, be very hard on yourself at home.”


Want to ride better? Take a seat “I make riders,” international equestrian coach and trainer Niall Quirk says, and for him the process is often about teaching balance, the proper seat and the ability to move in harmony with the horse. “Sit deep,” he urged riders at a clinic at Canterbury Stables in Cazenovia. “Don’t polish the saddle, move the saddle.” Melt into the horse. Here are a few more universal takeaways for every rider, at every level: “Riding is a constant conversation

... You must have it as a conversation. Don’t shout.” “Enjoy the rhythm of the horse. Ride the rhythm, be in the rhythm. You’re sitting on something moving and you must move with them.” “It’s better to do a small amount of good stuff than a lot of in-between … Be sure of what you want.” “With riding, you have to adjust constantly. It’s a constant interaction. It can never be a set piece.” “Your job is to make (the horse’s job) easier.” “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.” NEW YORK HORSE 39

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Bonnie Brie of Showme arrived in March. 42 NEW YORK HORSE



Syndee bats her liquid brown eyes, takes a dainty wisp of hay and snorts gently at her visitors. It’s good to be queen. Even a four-legged one. Syndee – officially Syndee New of Showme – is Haflinger royalty, with two National Best of Show titles, once in 2011 and again in 2014. She may be the reigning star at Showme Haflingers, but she is not the only one. Her stablemate, Bonita Rox PA – Bonnie to her friends – won the 2008 title. Showme Haflingers, tucked into a side pocket at the end of Dumplin’ Hill Road in Moravia, has had three National Best of Show titles in seven years. That would be quite an accomplishment for a barn that was twice the size, with a breeding program decades in the making. Brian and Dana Mitteer only bought their first Haflinger in 2005, but they have that elusive something: an eye for a champion. “At first we thought it was luck,” Brian said. “After the third, we thought we must have something to do with it.” They found Bonnie as a yearling at the 2007 spring breed auction, selecting her from more than 200 horses. She went on to become a champion driving horse and the all-time leading halter points mare. What caught their eye, the Mitteers say, is that she looked different from all the others, with both a great conformation and the Haflingers’ easy-going personality. To this day, said Brian, who is president of the American Haflinger Registry, “we breed for conformation and temperament.”

Syndee is the 15 hands, flaxenmaned embodiment of that philosophy. Bred at Showme, she’s a modernstyle Haflinger, taller and more of a pleasure horse in conformation and appearance than the sturdy stock who founded the breed in America. They were the sons and daughters of drafttype Haflingers bred to carry military munitions during World War II. The shift in the breed standard, Brian said, has come in the last 10 years. “They are breeding tall and they are breeding for pleasure,” he said. “When we first started going to sales, buyers were mostly looking for horses for driving. Now if they don’t ride, they don’t really sell.” What hasn’t changed is the breed’s friendly disposition and can-do work ethic. If Haflingers were cars, they would be a classic American sedan: Clean lines, well-proportioned and capable of going anywhere in any weather. “There isn’t anything they can’t do,” said Dana, who rides their horses in hunter paces and through the woods behind the barn. Bonnie is not only a pretty face, she’s a champion at pleasure driving. Haflingers also compete in dressage, show jumping, trail and endurance riding. They are cousins of the Lipizzan and in dressage, Dana said, “they have the same lightness of movement.” Beyond athleticism, it’s their temperament and intelligence, the Mitteers say, that makes the breed so versatile. Yes, they confirm, the

QUICK TAKES The one thing I always look for in a horse? Dana: Temperament. You want something you can handle safely. Brian: I agree with that. Best advice? Brian: Never take any horse for granted. Be alert. Things can happen. Dana: Never run out of gas. I am never without …? Brian: A jackknife. Dana: Helpful hints from my husband.

statement on the Haflinger website is correct: “A Haflinger is the absolute best horse in the world if you learn to be smarter than your Haflinger.” “They’re friendly and curious,” Dana said. “They really don’t spook. If they see something on the trail they sidestep, but they don’t spook … That’s what we want, that temperament – easy to handle even under stressful conditions.”

DID YOU KNOW? The Haflinger is named for the Tyrolean village of Hafling. The foundation stallion, 249 Folie, was born in 1847, and all modern purebred Haflingers must trace their ancestry directly to him through one of seven stallion lines.


By Dana and Brian Mitteer

Their temperament makes Haflingers good trail horses, says Dana Mitteer, riding Sunny near their farm.

It’s the one thing, Brian and Dana agree, that they always look for in a horse. “You want something you can handle safely,” Brian said. “We want the breed to move forward, but we don’t want to lose the temperament.” And with the arrival in early March of Bonnie’s first foal – Bonnie Brie of Showme – forward is where the Mitteers are looking. They bred

Bonnie to a top-moving stallion, always looking to improve on every trait. Now it’s all about the wait: Waiting for the baby with the spiky mane and doe eyes to grow into its full potential. Of course that’s part of the philosophy, too. Asked for their secret weapon, Brian sums it up in one word: “Patience.”

Bonita Rox PA, driven by Brian Mitteer.

How do you get started to win that Best of Show? First of all, you have to look at conformation. Every horse has its faults; there is no horse that is made perfect. When we got Bonnie, she had a hip problem and we had the vet come out and take a look. He told us the way to take care of the problem was to run her up and down hills, eventually adding ground poles. Being a yearling, we had to do this all with in-hand work; no riding or driving. With Syndee New of Showme, we looked at her and the horses that were beating her at Haflinger shows. We saw immediately that she had a layer of fat around her tail head. The way we solved that problem was through diet and exercise. You have to look at your horse honestly, and find a way to turn something negative into a plus. You have to start months ahead of the event you are trying to win. Grooming is very important to get that star-studded shine. We feed our show horses flaxseed oil supplement along with brushing twice a day. It’s not all that boring to do because you connect personally with the horse as time goes on. We look at it as a bonus. Nice green timothy hay makes up most of their diets. We give a 14% protein grain to our show horses. And don’t forget you have to put those muscles to use, either driving, riding or longeing. A horse looks better naturally well-muscled. We always get the horses’ hooves trimmed and shod a couple of weeks before the show. As show time comes closer, you have to clip your horse. Don’t wait until the last NEW YORK HORSE 43

minute to expect your horse to stand still. You will need to clip the whiskers and long hairs above the eyes. Don’t forget the bridle path, ears (the one time we use a twitch) and four cornet bands, which is the area directly above the hooves. We give a bath the day before the show. To get our horses’ manes and tails pure white, we put white vinegar in their manes and tails for about two to three hours before washing out that area using shampoo. Don’t give a bath the day of the show as the natural oils will not be there to give a nice natural shine to the coat. On show day, you need to allow for a long grooming time, along with putting on black hoof polish. If it should spatter onto the hair you can remove it with nail polish remover or alcohol, so be sure to have them on hand along with rags. And a most important thing to add to your items to bring: a hoof rasp along with clinches or better yet a farrier’s hoof trimming kit, which would include much more than a knife and hoof pick. You never know when you might need one. Before leaving for the show ring, remember to use a nice halter. You

want one that fits properly and also shows off your horse’s head. Be sure that the halter and lead line have been cleaned with leather polish. Anything with metal should be polished nice and

bright. Make sure you are dressed with all the creases starched and pressed. Everything on both handler and horse must be sharp and super neat and clean. Both of you have to look like winners!

Syndee New of Showme, Grand Champion Mare and Best of Show at the 2011and 2014 AHR National Show.

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September 7, Quaker Hill Road PHOTO BY WELLS HORTON NEW YORK HORSE 45

Editor’s Note: New York’s state parks, forests, wildlife preserves and private properties, beckon riders of all abilities and interests. Diverse terrain, from stonedust paths and rolling hills to rugged mountains and wilderness lakes await.


By Anthony Gannon and Janis Barth rail 60 branches off the paved road, dropping under a canopy of old-growth trees and curving into the woodlands of southern Madison County. The click of hooves on asphalt becomes a whisper of horse over a path paved with leaves. From a modest start in 1966, under the stewardship of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Brookfield Trail System has grown to more than 130 miles of groomed trails. Many are open for both riding and carriage driving, with an assembly area that can accommodate 150 horses in covered tie stalls.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR The New York State Horse Council 47th Fall Pleasure Ride will be Oct. 9-12 in Brookfield, based at the Madison County Fairgrounds. Contact:

May 30, woodland pond

May 25, white-throated sparrow


May 29, waterfall Truck Trail 1

The images with dates are by Wells Horton, part of his 2014 Daily Photo project. Find more online at wells-horton.

September 17, Quaker Hill Cemetery NEW YORK HORSE 47

September 5, Lost Pond

The heart of Brookfield, including the majority of the horse trails and the assembly area, is the 9,400 acre Charles E. Baker State Forest. Trails wind past woodland ponds and mossdraped waterfalls, across streams and over Inmate’s Bridge, named for the state prisoners who built it. Catch a fleeting glimpse of a white-throated sparrow perched on a stump bleached gray by wind and weather. Look deep into a glade of ferns for the jagged, leaning stones of a forgotten cemetery. Along the trails of the Brookfield Railroad State Forest – the second prong of the trail system – keep an eye out for traces of the original rail bed. Construction on a four-mile spur line to connect Brookfield to North Brookfield and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began in 1886. Financial trouble doomed the project, and not one rail was ever laid. Beaver Creek State Forest makes up the northern section of the trail system, passing through a large swamp before emerging along wooded hills thick with cedar, balsam fir and native hardwoods. The season runs May 1 through Oct. 31. Use of the horse trails is free, and they are always busy. “In the summer season, we experience between 4,000 and 7,000 horse days (a horse day equals one horse on the


and causing trouble.” system for one day),” said Daryel Jensen, Stalls were rebuilt and replaced with trails co-chair with his wife Betsy, of the covered tie stalls, an improvement both New York State Horse Council. Two of riders and horses welcomed. “The horses the quiet heroes of trail riding, they’ve were a lot more comfortable,” Daryel said. dedicated their lives to the creation, A mounting platform for people with preservation and expansion of a trail disabilities – where the horse is placed system that is a jewel for horse and rider. To appreciate what they in a chute and the rider walks up a ramp accomplished, consider that they to saddle level – was another welcome started with nothing but forest and enhancement, allowing greater access the old logging trails that still make to the trails. The need became clear to up the system’s main arteries. Daryel when he saw a woman using a “We marked all of the trails,” Betsy tree stump as a mounting block. As she recalled. “You had to walk through and swung up into the saddle, the stump check if a spot was good or not. If it gave way and she slid under the horse. was, you had to leave “We were afraid a mark. (We would) the horse would move walk through the and stomp on her, but DON’T FORGET woods cutting the it stood right there The Pennsylvania Equine trail and say ‘Will and she got up and Council has published a this work or will this managed to get on,” checklist of what to take not work?’ Just one Daryel said. “That along on a trail ride. Their small part of the trail was when we decided recommendations are: took a long time.” we’ve got to do Trails were something about this.” numbered for the first There are 13,750 Food time, too, replacing a acres of state forest out Water confusing system of there. It would take First Aid kit with arrows that left some more than any one bee sting swabs riders going around season to explore all of in circles. Numbering Brookfield’s peaks and Tylenol, Benadryl, tissues the trails also made valleys, sunlit corners Blood stop, vet maintenance and and wooded core. wrap, compress But it’s summertime. search and rescue Hoof pick There’s no excuse. Get easier. “You could just say, ‘There’s a bridge out there and ride! Leather punch and string out on Trail 3.’ Or if Special notes: Fence pliers someone was hurt, Horse owners must Easy boot, duct tape we were able to figure have a current negative out where they were,” Coggins certificate Map, compass, GPS Betsy said. “With and carry it with Rain coat the numbering you them. Out-of-state Plastic shopping bags, could look at the map horse owners may be garbage bag, zip-lock bag and people weren’t required to produce getting lost anymore.” a 30-day health Cross-tie, halter Every detail was certificate. Organized Hobbles considered, down trail rides or events Toilet paper, trowel to separate areas for need a temporary stallions and mares revocable permit, at the assembly which can be obtained Leatherman, pocket and camping area through the Lands or belt knife off Moscow Road. and Forests office in As Betsy notes: Sherburne. Plan on Cell phone (in “We had to find a two to three weeks your pocket!) way to keep them for processing prior to Matches separate. You didn’t the event. Additional Emergency numbers want the stallions information is available getting out at night at any DEC office. Money and change

In Saddle Bags

On you

For riders and drivers: The trails marked in grey or yellow on the trail maps are suitable for carriage driving as well as riding. Horse accommodations: Moscow Hill, the main assembly area (off Moscow Road) features 150 covered tie stalls and two stallion stalls. Horses may not be galloped or cantered in the assembly area. Human accommodations: Primitive campsites are located at Moscow Hill – where there is also room for RVs

and trailers – and the Cherry Ridge Camping area. Campsites are on a first come, first served basis. Moscow Hill has a pavilion. Picnic tables, grills and fire pits are available there and in many locations throughout the system. Portable toilets are available at Moscow Hill from May 1- Labor Day. Fee: None. Season: Trails are open to horses May 1-Oct. 31. There is no horse camping, and the off-road trails are closed to horses starting Nov. 1. Hiking and equestrian trails are used for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Field notes: Wildlife includes deer, turkey, ruffed grouse and migratory songbirds. Fishing on the many brooks is allowed in accordance with state regulations. Learn more: There’s more information on the Brookfield Trail System, including printable maps, online. Find it at brookfield-trail-system.html along with a printable auto tour guide, if you’d prefer a horseless carriage to a horse.

TRY THESE RIDES Daryel and Betsy Jensen chose these as their favorite trails in the Brookfield system. Daryel: Just north of Fairground Road there’s Trail 60. It has a long, long bridge over what the locals call Stillwater and it’s this muddy, swampy area. We called it the “Inmate’s Bridge Trail,” for the convicts who built it. The bridge is the longest in the system. Betsy: I think the Glen Bacon Trail is my favorite. The overlook is really nice. Trail 17 is what we call the Leanto Trail and I always enjoyed that one because you could just trot along on it until it started to get really muddy. (The Glenn Bacon Trail, formerly the Yellow Trail, was named in 1991 for the man known as “Mr. Brookfield.” The trail is nearly 40 scenic miles, just off Fairground Road. The Lean-to Trail is off Truck Trail One and Kelly Road, and intersects twice with Trail 16.) NEW YORK HORSE 49

Come for a day, a weekend or a lifetime • Enjoy our fine inns and restaurants. • Browse the unique shops along Albany Street’s historic business district.

• Glimpse a time when elegance was the order of the day at Lorenzo State Historic Site.

• Experience art in nature at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.

• Or simply relax and take a stroll in Lakeland

Park, with its ever-changing views of Cazenovia Lake and the surrounding hillsides.

Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce 59 Albany St., Cazenovia • Online at Email: • Phone: 315-655-9243


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From show jumping to trail riding, driving to dressage, we cover it all with unbridled passion



60 Second Clinic: Better classical riding? Try the Cowboy way. Cowboy Dressage is a unique combination of centuries-old classical horsemanship coupled with the American riding style of the Western horse. What trainer Jeff Wilson had to say, at a clinic at Carriage House Saddlery in Trumansburg, makes sense for every rider: Body language. “I’m always talking

with my inside leg. Your leg has to be active; think of it as Morse code to the horse. Unless you have a very active, deep leg, you’re not going to be effective.” Driven to succeed. “Your leg drives

the horse up to your hands. Your hands should be steady, but not frozen.” The Golden Rule of goal setting: “Set the bar.

Never accept anything less. Then set the bar a little higher … When your horse is learning something, there has to be a beginning and an end. Don’t go too far. Stop. And then, if you want to raise the bar, you can make something happen.” NEW YORK HORSE 51


What dressage can teach jumping (and vice versa)



his is the foundation of cross training: No matter what discipline you do, you can learn something from the others. And this is the goal: Create stronger horses and riders by encouraging riders to think outside their discipline – and their comfort zone – to solve problems. It’s a conversation that develops over time. Diane Brandow, a dressage professional, first learned its value as a groom at John Madden Sales, seeing the way John and Olympic champion Beezie Madden used dressage to school their show jumpers. Becky Huestis practices it at JMS, where she trains and shows young horses and keeps the top horses fit while Beezie is competing. At a clinic at Cazenovia Equestrian Center, where Diane is manager and runs her own Sugar Maple Dressage Academy, the two joined forces to demonstrate how dressage helps jumping and vice versa. Listen in: Becky: What I do with a new horse, first I halt. Then I see if they’re quick to move off my leg again. I’m checking to see what kind of gas pedal do I have? What kind of brakes? I allow him to move while I gauge what I’ve got. No matter what your discipline, the only way to train your horse is to be consistent. Every time you get on, you’re either training or untraining. Diane: There’s no right or wrong


answer. The goal is to have more tools. Any time you have more tools, you can figure out your horse faster. Even though your trainer may say ‘Never do this,’ some day you may encounter a horse for whom it’s perfect. Becky: Everything comes down to flatwork and how your horse responds to you on the flat. We’ve all been on school horses that are dulled to the leg. You get off and you feel like you’ve

had a Thighmaster work out. They’ve learned that there are no consequences to ignoring the leg. If you can get your horse to go forward when you want and come back when you want, go left when you want and go right when you want, you can do anything. It’s just that simple and just that hard. We all love our horses but training has to be unemotional. There has to be a level of respect. I put my leg on, you go. No questions asked. If they do it well – stop. Leave it alone. Diane: When we ask horses to do something new, they’re not going to be able to hold it forever and ever. Expect it. When they break, or their head comes up, just go back to the exercise. When you’re schooling, even in dressage, it’s not about the perfect movement. It’s about the effort and the response. Becky: People don’t respect flatwork enough. Jumping issues aren’t jumping issues, they’re flat issues. The jump isn’t the issue, it’s the flatwork leading up to the jump. … Horse training is just patience. You just have to have a lot of it. Every time he does it wrong he gets punished. Every time he does it right he gets rewarded. That’s all it is ... Whatever discipline you ride, your horse has to react to you. You’re the rider. Diane: Sometimes it’s going to be ugly. But if you work with him and get him to do it correctly, you’re going to get that pretty picture in the end.


Going in circles? That’s a good thing. “IT GIVES THE JUDGE THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY TO SEE YOU.”


ike Flarida began competing in the sport of reining in 1982, and won the first gold medal in reining competition at the 1999 USET Festival of Champions. A legendary National Reining Horse Association Hall of Famer, Flarida is also a Top 10 leading money winner and a multiple NRHA World Champion. His dedication to the sport was showcased when weather grounded his plane in early spring. Rather than miss a clinic by the Central New York Reining Horse Association, Flarida drove from his home base in Kentucky to Cazenovia. He had a full ring at Cazabu Farms, with riders ranging from novice, to pros with more years than his in the saddle. He peppered them with advice from the very specific -- “Steer forward, up and over the horse’s neck” to a rider with hands well back in his lap – to tips, gleaned from years of showing, designed to make everyone a better competitor. That starts not with reining’s signature spins and sliding stops, Flarida said, but with one of the most basic elements: the circle. Why the circle? That’s simple, Flarida explains. Circles are a competitor’s best opportunity to make a favorable impression on the judge – or not. “Circles are about two-thirds of your pattern,” Flarida says. “It gives the judge the biggest opportunity to see you and make more of a determination of how good your horse is, how good a horseman you are, how good a showman you are. “The judge gets more opportunity to criticize you in a circle than any other part of the pattern. He’s got a lot of time to make an opinion.” Control, technique and anticipation are some of the other elements

in the rider’s toolbox and Flarida gladly shared his thoughts:

Willingly guided, not off on their own. “From the judge’s perspective, he’s

going to want to see no resistance (from the horse) to being guided. He doesn’t mind seeing a horse being steered, as long as there’s no resistance … When they’re out there in that pen, and you’re asking them to do some things that are really hard, they need guidance.” Get a move on. “You can’t steer a horse if they don’t go forward.” Keep your eyes on the prize. “Don’t look down … Ride 10 to 15 feet in front of you, 15 to 20 feet, and then you don’t wait until the last minute to steer. Your eyes and your hands work together.”

Beware the danger zone. “The middle of the arena is where 70 percent of the penalties occur … This is where you want to take your time. Let the horse come up for air and take a breath. Don’t rush.” It’s not all in the wrist. “The wrist, the elbow and the shoulder are all one unit. Put your hand forward and steer with your whole arm. It will soften the whole horse and make the entire picture prettier.” Obedience is Job One. “The best way to get a horse over being aggressive is to give him a job.” For example, if a horse won’t stand quietly, have him spin. It doesn’t have to be fast, but it gives the horse something to do other than think about not listening to the rider. “Once they’ve figured out that you’re going to spin them until they stop and set, they’re going to stop and set … All you’re doing is saying ‘No, you wait on me.’ “ On the other hand: “Quit babysitting your horse. Leave them alone. Let them do their job.” But never let any horse forget:

“You’re the captain of this ship.” NEW YORK HORSE 53


Tired of playing ‘Catch me if you can?’ TRY THESE TIPS FOR APPROACHING AND HALTERING A HORSE By Audrey Reith


ne of the most frustrating things in life is the horse that does not want to be caught. When approaching a horse, speak to it and approach it from the side

and preferably at the shoulder. By nature, horses will scratch each other at the withers. For that tough-tocatch horse, walking at the shoulder and scratching it on the withers can make a world of difference in

its perception of being caught. In contrast, a pat on the nose may become irritating. Furthermore, a horse cannot see directly behind itself without turning its head from side to side. If approached from the rear, a horse will most likely run off or even kick. If approached from the shoulder, the handler can either move forward to stop the horse, or more toward the hip to drive it forward. You can get your equipment ready by doing the following: Attach the lead shank to the ring that sits below the jaw and gather the lead rope in a figure eight, so that it is not wrapped around your hand. Unbuckle the crown piece (or top strap) of the halter and place the nose piece over your arm. Horses will move in response to changes in a person’s body position. When you want the horse to stop, step calmly and quietly toward its left shoulder. Once the horse has stopped approach it at the shoulder. You may calmly place your hand on the horse’s neck or shoulder or scratch its withers. A horse’s withers are sensitive and they may enjoy being rubbed there. If the horse moves away when you approach, stop. Do not try again to enter the horse’s flight zone until the horse stops and accepts your presence. Do not chase the horse. Once you’ve caught your horse, the next step is haltering. There are several methods of haltering your horse and which technique to use depends on factors such as the level of training of both the horse and rider. The key is to keep the horse and handler safe at all times. Some tips for everyone for placing the halter on: • When placing the halter on the horse, slide your right arm over the horse’s neck as if you were going to hug it and grab the crown piece from the right. • Use your left hand to place the horse’s nose in the halter as you bring the crown piece over with your right hand. • Buckle the halter with both hands. Audrey Reith is Equine & Livestock Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Orange County. For more tips and expert advice, visit



PARTING SHOT “Horse was hippos to the Greeks, whose mythological gods lived among equally immortal steeds. And the Latin equus became almost emblematic of Rome’s imperial power. “Why has the horse evoked such deep, emotional and spiritual sentiments? Because he can carry us physically and spiritually into unchartered territory, beyond our everyday worries and distractions. “The horse is a symbol of transcendence.” — Allan J. Hamilton, Zen Mind, Zen Horse

Portrait by Jessica Berman of Finale and his dam, Falen. He is the last foal of Festrausch, Cazenovia College’s Westfalen stallion, who died last November. 56 NEW YORK HORSE

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